It was nearly two years ago that Sevyn Banks’ football life came to a crashing halt.
That may sound a bit over-dramatic, but the road to success is rarely freshly paved.
It was the April of Banks’ sophomore year of high school, and he was in the middle of a speed training workout when he stepped into a hole and injured his knee. It was a torn ACL and it would cost him his junior season of football.
It obviously had him worried.
“When I got hurt, it was terrifying,” Banks said. “Junior season is the biggest season of high school and your recruitment.”
But rather than succumb to the situation, Banks knew the urgency that he needed to have in order to get back on the field. A junior season is when college coaches are really investing their time into players as recruits, and it was this time period that Banks would be on the shelf.
Even though he missed his junior season, his motivation never wavered.
“I just thought about getting back as fast as possible and getting through this rehab and then coming back three times stronger,” he said. “So that really motivated me to get it done.”
Despite missing his junior season, enough coaches had seen him as a sophomore to know that he was a talented player. A couple of those coaches were Urban Meyer and Kerry Coombs. Ohio State offered him in the winter after his non-existent junior season. They had faith in him that he would be able to return to the player they believed him to be.
“It was a big eye opener that they were looking at me,” he said. “A lot of schools that were looking at me knew that I had something in me that I can prove.”
And once he visited Ohio State during the spring game weekend in 2017, he knew where he wanted to be.
“Honestly, this place is so great, once I left the spring game, they gave me a tour and talked about what they were trying to do and how they develop players,” he said. “And not only develop players, but get your degree in whatever you want to do in college. I just felt like this was the right place to go. You can’t go wrong.”
It was also during the spring of 2017 when he returned to full strength. He ripped off a 4.51 at a Nike combine weeks before his OSU visit, and hasn’t slowed down since.
Now an early enrollee, he has hit the OSU workouts with the same kind of temperament that earned him his offer and saw him through his recovery.
Banks knows nothing is going to be given to him at Ohio State, but that’s never stopped him before.
“I came up from the bottom, it’s no different,” he said of being at OSU. “It’s nothing new. You’ve just got to keep working and go back up. God would never put you in something that you can’t handle, so I feel like God put me in this spot right now just to do what I do best.”
What Banks does best is cover wide receivers, which is always in fashion at Ohio State. The Buckeyes lost a starting underclassman to the NFL Draft for the fourth time in the last five years, so jobs are available.
It’s not just the availability that OSU pitches to cornerback recruits, of course. The NFL numbers are used frequently as well. Banks didn’t need to be told about it, however. He already knew.
“The way the defensive coaches how they collectively have first rounders just pouring out, that’s a big factor,” he said. “I knew that already just watching college football games. You know who’s good. Just come out and do what you want to do and maybe one day I’ll be a first rounder.”
Banks has competition all around him right now, and that’s why he came to Ohio State. He knows that if a player is good enough to play, then they will make room for him.
He has also learned a few other things along the way as well.
“This school is very family orientated, team oriented. One strong,” he said. “I learn a little something every day. The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is everything you do here is going to be about us, it’s not just one person. And we’re going to achieve it as a unit and as a team. There’s no one person in this thing. Everybody is going to work hard and everybody’s going to show you what to do.”
More than playing time or anything of that nature, Sevyn Banks is focused on simply learning techniques and the playbook, so that if he is counted on, he will be able to come through when his team needs him.
That’s not all, however.
He thinks about the faith that OSU had in him when they offered him and he wants to prove them right.
“Yeah, all the time,” he said. “So I come here and work hard and show what I have.”